Dental Implant Variables: Connector, Sizing, Alternatives

October 12, 2021

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on the different types of dental implants available to you, plus the coating options you have to choose from. Dental implants are one of the most common solutions used today for lost or damaged teeth, providing complete restoration and supporting mouth function, and choosing the ideal type will ensure you receive the greatest benefits here.

At Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry, we offer a wide range of dental implants to our patients to fill any need. This includes a consultation where we help you determine exactly which implant type will be ideal based on your oral health and needs, including a few different considerations. What are a few of the other factors that will play a role in this choice? Here are several.

Dental Implant Connector Types

An important component of all dental implants is the connector, which attaches to your natural teeth and the implant itself. There are essentially three different types of connectors:

  • Internal hex connectors: This connector is shaped like a hexagon, with an opening in its head into which the restoration will be screwed.
  • External hex connectors: The external variant will also attach with a hex screw, but without the internal opening.
  • Internal octagon connectors: This octagon-shaped connector has an opening in the implant head, similar to the hex connector but with a different shape.

Sizing Dental Implants

No two mouths are the same, and there are a few different size templates available for dental implants depending on your mouth's size, its tooth spacing and its bone availability. Here are the options you have open to you:

  • Standard platform: These are meant to match the size of teeth at the front of your mouth, which might include your first molar or first premolar.
  • Wide platform: These sit in the back of the mouth, and your dentist may suggest them if you have an especially wide jawbone.
  • Mini or narrow body: For those whose existing teeth don't have much space between them, the narrow body implant might be a better choice.

Alternative Implant Methods

As we noted above, dental implants cover a wide range of different components depending on your needs. In some cases, alternative methods will be used in place of traditional implants -- or in addition to them. Some of these methods include:

  • Immediate load implants: These allow you to walk out of your appointment on the very same day with a full set of teeth, without the typical delay.
  • All-on-4: For those who have lost most or all of their teeth due to decay, this technique uses a set of temporary teeth to help avoid bone grafting needs.
  • Mini implants: Small, narrow implants that might be placed using a less invasive procedure, with the purpose of stabilizing those who wear dentures. These are most common for older adults.

For more on dental implants and how to choose the right type for your needs, or to learn about any of our family dentist services, speak to the staff at Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry today.

Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry knows the importance of having healthy and beautiful teeth, which is why we provide exceptional dental care that you can rely on

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